One of the best day’s of the year, besides draft day of course, is baseball opening day. It’s when fantasy owners finally get to the see rosters they’ve assembled put into action. Some teams and players will get off to amazing starts while others will inch out of the gate. Keep your emotions stable and enjoy the ride. Here are just a couple of things to look for today, opening day.
Aaron Harang gets to take on Johan Santana and the NY Mets. It will be interesting to see how Harang fares after his awful 2008 season. On the other side, Johan is not pitching in nice weather right now. I will be curious to see if the cold has any effect on his arm tightening up over the course of the game. Remember that Johan did have elbow stiffness earlier this spring. A couple other young players to watch are Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, who I predict will both struggle a great deal with Johan. I think the mets take this one 4-2.
Cliff Lee is going to get pounded by the Texas Rangers. Look for Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz to have big games. Micheal Young is over at third base adding to his eligibility this year. Let’s see how Travis Hafner responds to offseason shoulder surgery. I predict Hafner hits less than 20hr, say 17 this year.
Ricky Nolasco is going to have a day with the Washington Nationals. The Nationals have far too many guys who whiff, most notably Adam Dunn. Nolasco should strike out 9 while the Marlins kick this season off with a win. Its time to Cameron Maybin excite fantasy managers across the nation.
Toronto and Detroit square off where Justin Verlander will no doubt lose to Roy Halladay. I don’t like Verlander this year, not one bit. There are about 40 or more pitchers I would take before him. I think Verlander struggles to get through 5IP and then the Detroit bullpen gets lit up by the Toronto bats.
In a battle of Aces, King Felix duals Francisco Liriano with two teams who’s offenses need work. I like the Twins in this, because they are at home and their team has the ability to manufacture runs when needed. Twins take this one 3-2 on opening day. I am curious to see who the Mariners send out to the mound in the 8th and 9th inning if they are ahead.
Another battle of aces are Roy Oswalt and Carlos Zambrano. I like the Cubs all the way in this one. Lance Berkman is still struggling with his shoulder and without him in the lineup, its a different Astros team. Soriano was red hot to end the spring and Oswalt got off to a slow start last year, it will be interesting to see what happens this year.
These are just some of the games that are going to be fun to watch in what should be another great fantasy baseball season. Good luck to all!